Antony Gormley

MAN ROCK AND PLANETS, 1982 - 2002

From the early linear tracings of a continuous line on the surface of a stone, these works led on to clasping a stone - skin to skin, living body to inert material - that made the MAN ROCKS.

The first version was done in a wood outside Brighton in 1979. Later ones are made from stones taken from the sea off the island of Portland and inscribed with a full body outline.

These experiments culminate in PLANETS at the British Library in London: eight granite glacial erratics, each inscribed with a different body silhouette.

I wanted to reverse Michelangelo's slaves, where a quarried square rock had to conform to the represented body. In PLANETS and MAN ROCK, the outline of the body conforms to the stone, suggesting a dependency.

The outline was carved to an adequate depth where the form was beginning to be self-revealed, so is on the cusp between a drawing and the arising of self-determined form.

Download text
MAN ROCK I

MAN ROCK I, 1982
Portland stone, 60 x 80 x 60 cm

MAN ROCK II

MAN ROCK II, 1982
Portland stone, 128 x 104 x 63 cm

MAN ROCK IV

MAN ROCK IV, 1983
Portland stone
51 x 73 x 65 cm

PLANETS

PLANETS, 2002
Glacial erratic boulders, 8 boulders - various sizes
Permanent installation, British Library, London, UK

Permanent WorksPermanent Works